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NAACP at Ole Miss Says New Plaque Must Mention Slavery on Confederate Monument

The Confederate Monument is prepared for the new plaque.
The Confederate Monument is prepared for the new plaque.

The NAACP chapter at the University of Mississippi issued a statement on March 14 to say the new plaque soon to appear on the Confederate monument must mention slavery, or it is otherwise a failure of diversity.

The university NAACP said in its statement: “The administration of this incredibly diverse university woefully fails its students, faculty and staff when it does not accurately acknowledge the true history of the Confederacy.”

The new plaque, soon to be placed on the Confederate Monument by the end of March, is a part of former Chancellor Dan Jones’ 2014 Action Plan that intends to contextualize the existence of Confederate historical monuments on the university campus.

This past Friday, University of Mississippi chancellor Jeff Vitter issued a letter to reveal the language of the new plaque:

As Confederate veterans were passing from the scene in increasing numbers, memorial associations built monuments in their memory all across the South. This statue was dedicated by citizens of Oxford and Lafayette County in 1906. On the evening of September 30, 1962, the statue was a rallying point where a rebellious mob gathered to prevent the admission of the University’s first African American student. It was also at this statue that a local minister implored the mob to disperse and allow James Meredith to exercise his rights as an American citizen. On the morning after that long night, Meredith was admitted to the University and graduated in August 1963.

NAACP criticized the new language, saying that the mention of James Meredith was unnecessary in the plaque. The organization says this decision by the university is “both offensive and a total minimization of the Battle of Oxford which was waged in the defense of white supremacy against him.”

Their statement read, “The United Daughters of the Confederacy, who erected this monument and dedicated it to the university on May 10th, 1906, did not envision this university being integrated by an Afro-American student, who a generation before, would have been relegated to the position of slavery. Our administration should clarify why that chapter decided to erect the monument on this campus, and elsewhere, contextualize spaces that provide reasons for why a ‘rebellious mob gathered to prevent the admission of the University’s first African American student.’”

Below is a picture of the statement which NAACP posted on its Facebook page:

Courtesy Facebook / UMNAACP
Courtesy Facebook / UMNAACP

Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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